Tag Archives: asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma: Surveillance May Reveal Unexpected Exposure Risks


Researchers say continual surveillance for incidents of mesothelioma in the population can turn up some unexpected sources of asbestos exposure, including the home. Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a virulent cancer that attacks the linings around organs and can quickly become debilitating. Most mesothelioma patients were first exposed to asbestos on the job, either in construction or in an industrial setting. For decades, asbestos was used in multiple building products and various insulating materials for its strength and heat resistance. But the job site is not the only place where people might encounter asbestos, as Italian researchers found out when they analyzed nationwide mesothelioma data.  Their study, the results of which were recently published in the medical journal Epidemiology and … Continue reading Mesothelioma: Surveillance May Reveal Unexpected Exposure Risks »

Mesothelioma Rates Steady Despite Declining Asbestos Use


Although asbestos use in the United States has been in decline for more than 30 years, the threat of mesothelioma is still very real. A new CDC analysis of data from the National Program for Cancer Registries and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program shows that mesothelioma rates in the U.S. remained steady from 2003 to 2008. The National Program for Cancer Registries is a national database of all cancer cases in the U.S. It allows the CDC to observe and track trends and find patterns in cancer occurrence. The newly-released CDC mesothelioma analysis was based on the theory that “the decline in asbestos use in the United States may impact mesothelioma incidence.”  But according to a summary of the … Continue reading Mesothelioma Rates Steady Despite Declining Asbestos Use »

Mesothelioma Study Suggests Iron Makes Asbestos Toxic

An Italian study is shedding some light on exactly what makes asbestos so toxic to people and can eventually lead to mesothelioma. Asbestos, which was used for decades as an insulator and building material, is the mineral most closely associated with malignant mesothelioma, a virulent cancer. Asbestos has also been linked to lung cancer, asbestosis and disabling lung scarring. Although its toxicity is well known, the reasons for that toxicity are still unclear. Some scientists believe that iron, which is toxic in the body in large amounts, may be partially to blame. They have shown that iron can alter the production of cancer-preventing enzymes by changing DNA, and have suggested that ridding the body of excess iron may be one way … Continue reading Mesothelioma Study Suggests Iron Makes Asbestos Toxic »

Mesothelioma Risk High if Raised Near Asbestos

There’s more evidence that exposure to asbestos early in life increases the risk of mesothelioma and a host of other cancers. A team of Australian researchers have released the results of a study of more than 2,400 adults who lived in an asbestos mining town during their childhoods (under the age of 15). The study participants all lived in a town where crocidolite, also known as blue asbestos, was present. Crocidolite is the most common type of asbestos found in Australia. Among the 2,460 people evaluated, there were 217 (93 female) incident cancers and 218 (70 female) deaths. Compared to other Australians women, the women who had lived around asbestos as children were more likely to have mesothelioma, ovarian, and brain cancers. … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk High if Raised Near Asbestos »

Mesothelioma Rates Higher Near Exposed Asbestos

Disturbing naturally occurring asbestos, whether for farming or building, can significantly raise the risk of mesothelioma and several other cancers. That is the conclusion of a Chinese study comparing the distribution of mortality rates of six kinds of cancer with land use patterns in the Dayao area of China. The study focused on mesothelioma, lung cancer, intestinal cancer, nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer.  Rates were calculated using geographic information systems data. The study found that the mortality rates from mesothelioma and three of the other cancer types were “significantly associated” with outcropped asbestos, asbestos in the soil that was exposed by digging. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that occurs naturally in many parts of the world and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Rates Higher Near Exposed Asbestos »

Mesothelioma Risk from Vintage Prefab Homes

The mesothelioma death of an elderly English man is more evidence of the danger posed by aging asbestos, especially in the country’s vintage prefab homes. Although Arthur Brown was 91-years old and had multiple health problems, the fact that he died of mesothelioma, the asbestos-linked cancer, has made headlines in England because, unlike most mesothelioma sufferers, he had never worked in the asbestos industry or lived with anyone who had.  Just as concerning is the fact that Brown’s wife also died of this very rare cancer. Brown and his wife spent much of their adult lives in one of the more than 150,000 prefab houses built in Britain just after World War II. Ordered by Winston Churchill as an inexpensive way to … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk from Vintage Prefab Homes »

Mesothelioma Risks in Unexpected Places

Although asbestos was most common in industrial settings like ship yards and manufacturing plants, recent headlines drive home the fact that the mineral which causes mesothelioma can still be found in some unexpected places – including restaurants, retail stores and even hospitals. A 60-year-old chef from Salisbury, England reportedly contracted malignant mesothelioma after years of working around a restaurant oven with asbestos seals on its doors.  A naturally occurring mineral, asbestos is resistant to heat and fire, which once made it a popular insulator. But in his case against the pizza restaurant where he worked for years, Luigi Pes alleged that he had inadvertently inhaled asbestos dust from years of opening and closing the oven. Pes was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2008. … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risks in Unexpected Places »

Mesothelioma May Masquerade as Ovarian Cancer

Some cases of ovarian cancer in women with a history of asbestos exposure may actually be misdiagnosed peritoneal mesothelioma.  That is the conclusion of scientists from the University of Western Australia who are trying to evaluate a possible link between asbestos and ovarian cancer. Doctors have known of the link between mesothelioma and asbestos for decades.  Over the years, other cancers, including gastrointestinal, kidney, throat and gallbladder, have also been associated with exposure to this toxic mineral.  But, because fewer women traditionally work in industrial jobs and, thus, have less occupational asbestos exposure, the link with ovarian cancer has been harder to prove. Adding to the challenge is the possibility that some cases of peritoneal mesothelioma may have been misdiagnosed as … Continue reading Mesothelioma May Masquerade as Ovarian Cancer »

Mesothelioma Risk May Decline in Libby

A small bit of good news for the beleaguered town of Libby, Montana where mesothelioma has become a household word.  Declared a Superfund site by the EPA in 1999 because of high levels of asbestos from its vermiculite mines, Libby has been the site of the massive cleanup operation ever since.  According to the latest report, the EPA claims that the air in Libby is mostly safe to breath. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, as well as asbestosis, lung cancer, and other serious lung disorders.  Libby’s high levels of asbestos, which spewed into the air from the mines and settled like dust across the town for more than 40 years, touched off a rash of mesothelioma cases, bringing it to … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk May Decline in Libby »

Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized

A respected team of mesothelioma experts predicts that treatment for this aggressive cancer will become increasingly personalized in the next five to ten years. A malignancy in the lining around the lungs and other organs, mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Although its occurrence in the U.S. is believed to have leveled out at about 3,000 cases per year, the number of cases around the world is continuing to increase. Because the disease is so difficult to treat, many patients succumb within a year of diagnosis, even with the best therapies now available. For this reason, researches continue to look for ways to predict which treatments are most likely to work for which patients. In a recent article … Continue reading Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized »